Paradigm Reference Seismic 110 Subwoofer


On the Bench

As usual, all bench tests were performed with the Paradigm sub in the middle of the room, to avoid interaction with corners and walls. The PBK equalization was turned off during tests, and except as noted below all measurements were taken from one foot at a height equal to the center of the speaker.

The Seismic 110 is capable of not only producing usable output at 18 Hz, but at considerable power. Not many subs can put out 100 decibels at 18 Hz with less than 10% THD+N; the Paradigm was well within limits at only 8.14 THD+N.

At 20 Hz, distortion was down to 5.74%.

And at 31.5 Hz (third-octave), distortion was an impressively low 2.53%.

In fact, since the Paradigm was not even breathing hard at 31.5 Hz, I started turning it up. In this graph, the Seismic was up to almost 110 dB at less than 2.5% distortion, and sounded like it could handle much more. But I was starting to get sympathetic resonances from my room that corrupted the measurements at higher output, so stopped the test. With corner wall placement that typically provides 3-6 dB of room gain, it's pretty safe to say you could get 115 decibels at 31.5 Hz with very low distortion. That is freakishly good performance from a small sub.

Distortion vs. frequency, normalized to 100 decibels at 50 Hz, shows the Seismic at 10% distortion around 20 Hz (I measured 8.14% THD+N at 18 Hz), then dropping rapidly to 2% by 30 Hz. This is amazing performance from a small 10" enclosure.

Frequency response at one foot (red), one meter (blue) and two meters (red). The one-foot response is virtually flat across the entire spectrum, while the one meter and two meter response curves show the effect of the listening room.